You Never Get Used To It- No Matter How Small - Uncover Ostomy
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You Never Get Used To It- No Matter How Small

Tomorrow I’ll be having a minor surgical procedure.

Now, don’t get all worked up- it’s nothing ostomy related. I wouldn’t exactly deem it Crohn’s disease related either, but it is definitely a by-product of my low immune system.

I wont go into much detail about it, except for the fact that it’s a tiny surgery/out-patient/ not a big deal-kind of thing.

If it was a big deal, my mother would be on a plane right now to NYC to take care of me. Since she has decided not to, I can only assume this is nothing to worry about.

I’m still beyond nervous.

I hate this. Every part of it. And every part of me shows it.

Whenever I visit a doctor’s office for some small procedure, I can’t sit still. I squirm, or make faces, or both. I do this because I know what’s coming- often, in far too much detail. Most of the time,  the doctor notices my awkward reactions, reviews my chart and says, “hey, you’ve been through much worse than this. This is nothing.”

Ok doc, let me just grab a scalpel and let you feel it.

No matter how many times I’ve been sliced, diced, and sewn back together, it hurts and I hate it.

I don’t believe the ideology that the more it happens, the more you get used to it. Maybe it’s true and others get used to it, but in my case, no.

Maybe I’m just a baby.. Or I’m too self-aware.

Yes, that’s it. I am aware of everything that is going on around me, behind me, above me, and every pair of eyes that are judging me.

My self-awareness comes out mostly when I get a pre-surgery consult. I realize all too obviously that I am lying on an examination table and someone is staring at me.  This self-awareness leads me to become awkward and uncomfortable from the set of eyes (sometimes even two) that are scanning every part of me.

Knowing that I cannot avoid this inevitability, I often follow the mantra, “if I can’t see them, they can’t see me.”

AKA- I take my forearm and place it directly over my eyes so that I cannot see the individual who is deciding how is he is going to lacerate my body.

How am I a grad student?

No matter how old and mature I get as the years go by, I believe that the number of big or little procedures I’ve had, or will have, will not change the fact that I am still that 8 year old girl who began the journey of dealing with Crohn’s.

Have you gotten used to surgery? How do you do it?

Wish me luck tomorrow!

Jessica Grossman
  • julie osenton
    Posted at 20:32h, 09 February Reply

    I will keep you in my prayers as I know each day is a new journey. I just spent another 2 weeks in the hospital and all I ever get is a bandaid. I am going to John Hopkins in March for some answers and hopefully help. I have hated this bag since the moment I woke up from surgery. Everytime I see it I know I am sick. I have gotten use to surgery but I have many complications that cause me to have to have outpatient procedures about every 6 months. I also have to have IV’s every week and get shots to help me build blood. Not the life I would have planned but the life I was dealt. Good Luck and Keep your chin up you didn’t ask for this and have no choice but to do these procedures in order to try and maintain your level of health. I wish you peace. Julie Osenton

  • Aaron Abels
    Posted at 20:44h, 09 February Reply

    Hey Jess, Aaron here.

    I understand your feeling on this. No matter how much the doctors say “you’ve been through worse than this” its still easy for them to say. Because 99/100 of them don’t know what it actually feels like. However, try to look at it like this…

    Pain goes away. It WILL be over. And if the procedure is appropriate for whatever your needs may be, it WILL benefit you. Now I’m not discounting the pain… as you know I’ve experienced a lion’s share of it as well. But, like me, you’re tough. You CAN take it. I think maybe you psych yourself out a bit, because in my experience pain management can be psychological. Try counting in intervals of three… 1,2,3…. then start over, and repeat. It works a lot for me.

    Anyway Jess my point is you might be scared, but I think you know inside you that you can handle it, and it might hurt, but you can do it! I know you can. You’ve done it many times before! Thinking of you pal! Chin up!


  • Shanan Martinez
    Posted at 21:36h, 09 February Reply

    Please do share more about whats going on. I have many worries about my future right now I have an abbess in my J pouch and am still on a bag and not in a big hurry to have them open me all the way up again….. Uggg Its nice to know Im not alone!

  • Sally
    Posted at 00:03h, 10 February Reply

    It’s funny, I don’t mind having surgery at all- as long as I have general anesthesia. But it you tell me you’re going to hurt me while I’m awake, forget it. So I really hate the stuff that they won’t sedate me for… and I can’t stand things going down my throat. They sedate you for endoscopies and intubation, so my big one is NG tubes. I’ve had them, so many times, but still I would rather have major surgery than have an NG tube placed while I am awake. I know that is a little weird.

  • Ed
    Posted at 09:10h, 10 February Reply


    “Have you gotten used to surgery?”

    Never, and never will. And no one should ever get used to it. We have all had significant medical issues, and in many cases multiple surgical procedures, but never should anyone get used to it.

    You are doing the right thing. You ask questions, make sure you understand what is going to happen, and why. You are an involved patient, and untimately, the best person to evaluate the situation.

    I had open heart surgery this past summer. Did lots of reserarch on the condition, best places to have it dealt with, recovery time, restrictions,…. you know what I am saying.

    I remember thinking “at least it is not another bowel issue”. I have had plenty of those surgeries.

    Surgery, injections, medications….botton line is still the same….it’s my life, and I want to understand why this is being recommended.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, and all of us facing these medical issues. Please keep us posted, and let us know if we can help.

  • Valerie Pearson
    Posted at 07:46h, 11 February Reply

    I am sending you lots of prayers and love.You are such an inspiration to so many young girls.My daughter being one of them.Remember you are divinely protected you have done so much for others.Sending lots of positive loving energy your way.

  • Chloe
    Posted at 19:19h, 13 February Reply

    i cannot say if i have gotten used to it because i ahevnt had one since i was 4 1/2. sadly, i cannot eel for you right now , but i wish you all the best. you are my role model jess.

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